Lent: Signs of Life -- Why Church is Important

  Lent: Signs of Life -- Why Church is Important  
Signs of Life and our Christian Vocation

"When we hear the water being poured into the font, or witness the new fire at the Easter Vigil, or experience solidarity and shelter among the assembly, or taste the bread of life, we are reoriented toward God's eternity.  Time stands still, God moves, and we are changed."
 ~ Dr. Lisa Kimball, Virginia Theological Seminary

Our Lenten journey this year will be shaped by the collaborative work shared between the Society of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal religious order, and Virginia Theological Seminary's Lifelong Learning program, who invite us to consider the way our worship "engages our deepest human needs and has the power to transform our lives."   By exploring five signs and symbols that lie at the heart of our Christian worship - light, water, food, shelter, and community - we begin to perceive the way our worship offers signs of life to be shared with those who are trapped in the signs of our times.

Life in today's world can be challenging.  Amidst all our personal and collective struggles, it is easy to get lost in the signs of our times and become jaded or lose hope, or despair about the state of the world.  In the context of such challenging times, the worship and spiritual life of the Christian community reminds us that we are caught up in the life of God, where there is always hope, and where the possibility of change and transformation - of new life - is always offered.  As Lisa Kimball puts it, our worship life reorients us toward God's eternity.

Our shared observance of Lent this year is about reminding ourselves, and each other, of why church is important, and an integral part of our following of Jesus.  I look forward to sharing the journey with you.

To get a sense of our Lenten program, take a look at the introductory video below.

Peace,

The Rev. Matthew Dutton-Gillett, Rector




 

Ways to Engage

 
  • We will be offering a Lenten Series of classes after church on Sundays (11:30 am) beginning March 1, which will be repeated on Tuesdays (7:00 pm) beginning March 3, so you may choose the class the best fits your schedule each week.
     
  • Existing Small Groups, or those who might wish to gather during Lent with a group of friends, may utilize Signs of Life materials for small groups found here:  https://www.signsoflife.org/smallgroup/ 
     
  • We will be sharing a booklet in both paper and digital formats that provide daily practices that fit the theme of each week.  These are simple practices for personal or family use.
     
  • We will be sending out an introductory Lenten Email on Shrove Tuesday, February 25, and a Weekly Lenten Email on each Saturday evening in Lent beginning February 29.  These Weekly Lenten Emails will be focused on the theme of each upcoming week, and will also be linked in our Weekly Parish Email and our weekly email to children, families, and youth.
     
  • There will be a prayer station set up at the back of the church just in front of the font that will change each week to reflect the focus for that week.
     
  • Those who engage with social media are encouraged to post a photo each week that provides a personal take on the weekly theme, adding the hashtag #signsoflife to the photo on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. 


     

    Weekly Themes

    Week 1 - March 1: Light

    Week 2 - March 8: Water

    Week 3 - March 15:  Food

    Week 4 - March 22: Shelter

    Week 5 - March 29: Community



     

    More Exploration

     

    If you'd like to explore more, you may click over to the Society of St. John the Evangelist's dedicated Signs of Life website:

    www.signsoflife.org